The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


June 19, 2008


On my cluttered desk I’ve got a list on a legal pad that I’ve been diligently crossing things off of this week. It both prods me along, and gives a sense of satisfaction. If you’re one who loves crossing things off your To Do list, you know what I mean.

I suspect you also know how such lists become insignificant when faced with something larger. When flood waters threaten your home, livelihood—even life. When an accident or illness invades your life or that of someone you know and love. Or when a loved one dies—leaving us with a different To Do list altogether—this time done amid our grief.

This week I found myself caught up in Remembering Tim Russert. I couldn’t help it—Tim memories met me every time I turned on the TV—and not just on NBC. Like many, I’ve respected and appreciated Russert as a journalist. But after this week’s hoopla—that even his wife and son admitted would shock Tim—I wished I’d watched him even more. I was deeply moved by his son Luke’s appearance on the Today Show, his eulogy and his desire for his dad’s chair and legal pad from the Meet The Press studio.

This week, my colleague Sonia and her family make their own list of what needs to be done as they say a final farewell to her mom, Opal, 96, who died early this morning in Iowa.

And so it goes... Tim was at the top of his game—energized by this presidential election. Opal was spirited but weary, and in her final hours was already making the transition from this life to the next.

Thanks be to God for lives that are lived well, and that God is with us through it all—from the big stuff to the routine... such as plodding through our To Do lists...

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